Call for Papers | Olfaction and Preservation
Call for Papers
Olfaction and Preservation
Special issue co-edited by Jorge Otero-Pailos and Adam Jasper
Extended Deadline: Monday, 22 February 2016
Future Anterior publishes essays that explore preservation from historical, theoretical and critical perspectives. For this issue, we seek papers on architecture, atmosphere, preservation and the sense of smell. We seek scholarly papers that take stock of the recent surge of interdisciplinary research on olfaction and speculate on its relevance to the practice of preservation.
Our technical ability to deodorise and perfume buildings runs in advance of our theoretical understanding. Although the deep relationship between olfaction, memory and atmosphere is a trope that extends from Proust to neuroscience, the conscious practice of altering odor in order to influence how visitors experience heritage is rarely subject to scholarly scrutiny.
The powerful connection between smell, memory, and emotions encouraged preservationists to experiment with scenting historic sites in the 1980s. A pioneering example is the Jorvik Viking Center in York, England, designed by John Sunderland, who conceptualized smell as a central element of what he called “time warp experiences.” Papers may examine the history, successes and failures of olfactory design in preservation projects. It is now possible to document the smells of contemporary buildings and to archive them along with more traditional records such as photographs and architectural drawings. At the same time, the scenting of historic sites can be, and often is, dismissed as a gimmick. Papers can examine why historically smell has been so easily construed as a lure. To what degree did the introduction of manufactured smells as part of historic buildings reinforce or challenge previous conceptions of preservation? Could current knowledge regarding olfaction be used to re-read historical debates about the authenticity of buildings?
What schemata are available for the categorization of historic smells? The language of smell is here a central concern. The description of smells proceeds entirely via euphemism. Would it be appropriate to categorize the smell of historic buildings according to their visual styles (eg. Gothic, Barroque, Neo-classical, Art Deco, Modernist, etc)? Papers might also consider the modern pursuit of the well tempered and attractively scented environment.
Within flavors and fragrance companies, “fragrance wheels”—in which families of smells are arranged in an analog of the spectrum of visible colors—are often used as mnemonic and communicative devices. Other schemes array scents on musical scales, or in n-dimensional space. We also have taxonomies of scents from Carl Linnaeus (1756), Zwaardemaker (1895), Crocker and Henderson (1927), and Jellinek (1951), amongst many others. The enormous variety of such representations, which may be indispensable in the effective communication of olfactory experience, attests to their current insufficiency. What developments are to be expected on this front? Can the conventional language of smell be satisfactorily formalized for professional preservation use? In recent years, studies of the smells of decomposing materials point to a promising new form of non-destructive testing for historic architecture, and a new science of “material degradomics.” What new possibilities are offered by corpus analysis, data mining and other research techniques in the digital humanities in determining historical perceptions and theories of smell? How can these techniques best be disseminated, applied and critiqued?
We also welcome papers that examine the historical intertwining of olfaction, atmosphere and urbanism. From the characteristic odors of the Renaissance city, through the great stenches of London and Paris in the nineteenth century, to the rise in synthetic deodorants in the twentieth, the smell of the historical city undergoes change. As Rodolphe el-Khoury writes in Polish and Deodorize, “Urban historians have indeed spoken of a Copernican revolution in the Enlightenment’s conception of a city. Beauty, once the governing principle of urbanism, is claimed to have been overthrown by health, hygiene and physiology.” In particular, the public fear of disease engendering miasmas, and more specifically the telluric emanations of interior walls, had a significant impact on both urban planning and interior architecture. Likewise, even as control over lighting and odor has become ever more standardised, architectural language valorising “atmosphere” has gained in prominence. What are the theoretical implications of the discussion of atmosphere, and to what extent can it be empirically tethered to the history and politics of smell?
Future Anterior is a peer-reviewed journal that approaches the field of historic preservation from a position of critical inquiry. Future Anterior invites papers from scholars from a variety of disciplinary perspectives: architectural history, art history, anthropology, archeology, geography, chemistry, engineering, philosophy, political science, juridical studies, urban studies and planning. A comparatively recent field of professional study, preservation often escapes direct academic challenges of its motives, goals, forms of practice and results. Future Anterior invites contributions that ask these difficult questions from philosophical, theoretical, and practical perspectives.
Articles submitted for peer review should be no more than 4000 words, with up to seven illustrations. Text must be formatted in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition. All articles must be submitted in English, and spelling should follow American convention. Please let us know via which mailing list or forum you first read the call for papers. Text should be saved as Microsoft Word or RTF format, while accompanying images should be sent as TIFF files with a resolution of at least 300 dpi at 8” by 9” print size. Figures should be numbered and called out clearly between paragraphs in the text. Image captions and credits must be included with submissions. It is the responsibility of the author to secure permissions for image use and pay any reproduction fees. A brief author biography (around 100 words) must accompany the text.
For further manuscript guidelines, please visit: http://www.upress.umn.edu/journals/futureanterior/fa_msguidelines.html
Acceptance or rejection of submissions is at the discretion of the editors.
Please email all submissions to: Future.Anterior.Journal@gmail.com
Questions about submissions can be sent to the above email address or to:
Jorge Otero-Pailos, Founder and Editor, Future Anterior
jo2050 at columbia.edu
Adam Jasper, Guest Co-Editor
adamjasper at gta.arch.ethz.ch